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Jack Ross backs Christian Doidge after striker’s goal drought continues

Jack Ross File Photo
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Hibernian head coach Jack Ross insists striker Christian Doidge is still contributing to the team, despite going 13 games without a goal.

Doidge was left frustrated in the latter stages of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Motherwell after wasting two chances in quick succession.

The former Forest Green Rovers player, who has notched seven goals in 35 appearances this season, has now not found the net since the December 15 Betfred Cup win over Alloa.

Although well aware of Doidge’s current barren run in the final third, Ross admits the 28-year-old still plays a key role for the team.

Ross, whose side remain four points clear of Aberdeen in fourth place, said: “It happens and he feels it because he’s a conscientious player and personality.

“His contribution since he got back in the team in terms of his all round play has been excellent, and his all round play was good today.

“But, harshly, strikers are always going to be judged on their goal return.

“He knows that, he’s not going to shy away from it, it’s our job to cajole and help our players through any challenging period and he’ll be fine.

“His all round performance and contribution to the team is good.

“A lot of strikers are streaky in terms of the runs they are on, where they feel good in front of goal and other times where they have frustrating periods.”

Motherwell never looked back after opening the scoring in the 25th minute through Jordan Roberts.

The on loan Hearts forward held off Paul Hanlon before slipping the ball through Ofir Marciano’s legs.

Roberts then teed up Devante Cole to fire in a second from the edge of the box just seconds after the restart.

Motherwell brought on fit-again Scotland defender Declan Gallagher in the second half as they looked to see the game out.

And by doing so, Gallagher activated a contract extension by making his 25th league appearance of the season.

Asked about Gallagher, who is said to have attracted interest from the MLS, Alexander said: “He’s here until the summer, we know that.

“I’m not going to get into details of contracts. We’ve tried to build him up this week, we didn’t think he was ready to start the game.

“We talked about this scenario on Friday, if we had to make a sub after 20 minutes he probably wouldn’t have been there.

“He came on and gave us that added strength. It was perfect timing for him to come on.”